In the Footsteps of Norman Maclean

Writing the West: The Way Forward | September 13-15, 2019 | Seeley Lake & Missoula, Montana

The 2017 In The Footsteps Of Norman Maclean Festival presents three days of stories from the iconic Blackfoot River and Blackfoot Valley of northwest Montana.

Other Fun

Destination Missoula is the best website for information on day trips, dining and more in and around Missoula:

More information on local historical sites related to Norman Maclean will be coming shortly.

Fishing Guides:

Image: Juan De Santa Anna

Image: Juan De Santa Anna

Outstanding fly fishing guides are available through Missoula on the Fly. Mid-July fishing on the Blackfoot can be fantastic. Don't wait to book a trip. These are some of the finest local guides, and their calendars fill early.

Self-Guided Activities:


Holland Falls
Great views of the Mission Mountains and cool waterfall (3 miles, 90 minutes round trip). Directions: Take Highway 83 to Holland Lake Turnoff, between MM 35 and 36. Trailhead is 4 miles east down Holland Lake Road. Great for families.

Morrell Falls
Nice mostly level walk to Morrell Falls (4.6 miles, 2 hours round trip). Take Highway 83 north of Seeley Lake to MM 15 – go east for 7 miles. Signs lead you to Morrell Falls Trailhead.

Girard Grove
A network of trails allows for walks anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours. See the largest Western Larch in the world: Gus. Gus is 1,000 years old and taller than the Statue of Liberty. Directions: From Seeley Lake take Boy Scout Road past Pyramid Lumber Mill, cross the Clearwater River outlet of Seeley Lake, and just past the bridge you'll find a parking area on your left for Girard Grove. The parking lot is 2.8 miles from Hwy 83.


Clearwater Loop Road
Discover dynamite views of the Swan Front on this 14-mile loop which also provides access to Clearwater Lake. The trail to the lake begins at the parking lot which is 7 miles in, and follows a 2.5 mile level loop around Clearwater Lake, a two-hour hike. Bear spray needed.


Clearwater River Canoe Trail
This unique canoe trail takes you on the Clearwater River and Seeley Lake. Clearwater River Canoe Trail is exceptional 1 to 2 hour canoe trip that flows through a dense willow marsh on an isolated portion of the Clearwater River. This is one of the most popular 'trails' in the Seeley Lake Ranger District. The 3.5 mile distance can be canoed at a leisurely pace in about 2 hours. From Seeley Lake, drive 4 miles north on Montana Highway 83. Turn west at the Clearwater Canoe Trail sign and proceed 0.5 mile to the put-in. The canoe take-out and start of the return trail are at the Seeley Lake Ranger Station.

Lake Alva
Lake Alva is a 'no-wake' lake, ideal for kayaking and canoeing and no-wake fishing. The turnoff to the Boat Ramp entrance is at the 25 MM (Lake Alva sign).

  • GOLF

The Double Arrow Golf Course is one of the premier golf courses in Montana. Call the Pro Shop at (406) 677-3247 for rates and tee times. Located 2 miles south of Seeley Lake. More information at


Horseback rides and more are available at the historic Rich Ranch, a 10-minute drive from Seeley Lake. Contact Rich Ranch regarding rates and availability at (406) 677-2317. Visit for more information.

Sponsors: Clearwater Montana Properties • Prop Foundation • Montana Department of Commerce • Montana Cultural Trust Fund • Humanities Montana • Garlington, Lohn & Robinson, PLLP • Margaret and Charles Burback • Montana Film Office • Citizens Alliance Bank • Montana Public Radio • Missoula Federal Credit Union • Stockman Bank • Thomas Beers • Blackfoot • Destination Missoula • Missoula TBID

Co-sponsors: Big Blackfoot Riverkeeper • National Museum of Forest Service History • Seeley Lake Historical Society and Museum

For More Information contact: Jenny Rohrer, Festival Coordinator
(406) 754-0034,

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Background image: Juan De Santa Anna